Finding Allies in Health Care
If you're sick, there's no substitute for finding a skilled, caring and knowledgeable health care practitioner who can help you help yourself back to health.
We know that with the growth in acceptance of alternative medicine, there is a corresponding growth in confusion as to what kind of practitioner can provide the best care. This is one area in which we believe there's no substitute for doing your homework.
You need to check out your options very carefully. Below are links to websites that can help you find a qualified health care consultant in your area. If you have more than one to choose from, you'll want to make a decision on who has the better training and experience.
We IMPLORE you to seek care from licensed health care practitioners with as much training as you can possibly find, preferably from four-year post-graduate institutions. There are three designations that fit that description--M.D.s, D.O.s and N.D.s who have graduated from one of the two ACCREDITED North American colleges that train naturopathic physicians--Bastyr University in Seattle and the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portand, Oregon. Look to see if your practitioner has been certified by the American Board of Holistic Medicine.
When we refer to M.D.s, we're talking about holistic practitioners, of which there certainly are not enough to go around. The great advantage of a holistic M.D. is they have the ability to see your situation from the broadest perspective. They also have the ability to order tests that, say, a chiropractor or nutritionist would not be able to order. Finally, they have the ability to prescribe. There are somethings that can be very helpful if you need to detox that you can't buy over-the-counter, for example, oral anti-fungal medications to combat yeast infections.
American Academy of Environmental Medicine
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine was formed by over 400 physicians to study and treat people with illnesses or health problems caused by adverse, allergic or toxic reactions to a wide variety of environmental substances. Treatment begins with detailed environmentally oriented histories of their patients that endeavor to determine possible cause and effect relationships to environmental exposures. They perform various forms of allergy testing to further discover what substances are causing the patient's reactions. Drug treatments are avoided as much as possible. Treatment more likely takes the form of immunological therapy to boost the individual's ability to withstand contact with offending substances. Avoidance strategies and rotation diets are also recommended. The goal of treatment is to allow the patient to live comfortably without constant medication or fear of reaction. Their website can help you find a nearby specialist. http://www.healthy.net/aaem/.
American Holistic Medical Association
AHMA was founded in 1978 to unite licensed physicians who practice holistic medicine. AHMA membership is open to licensed medical doctors (MDs) and doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs) from every specialty, and the medical students studying for those degrees. Associate membership is also open to those health care practitioners certified, registered, or licensed in the state in which they practice.
The mission of the AHMA is to support practitioners in their evolving personal and professional development as healers and to educate physicians about holistic medicine. www.holisticmedicine.org.
Another group of practitioners with the ability to prescribe are doctors of osteopathic medicine (D.O.s). They receive training similar to that of an M.D. but differ in that they take a holistic, preventive approach toward treatment that includes an emphasis on skeletal manipulation similar to that of chiropractic. Though their licensure allows them to pursue specialization, the majority of D.O.s serve as primary care physicians. There are an estimated 45,000 osetopaths in practice in the U.S., representing 5.5% of the total U.S. physician population. Their training in preventive health may make them more amenable to detoxification procedures than most mainstream M.D.s.
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
Founded in 1986, the AANP represents licensed NDs in the United States. Their site will help you locate a licensed ND in your area. The attached page from their website explains more about the history and tradition of naturopathy. http://www.naturopathic.org/TraditionalNaturopathy.html www.naturopathic.org.
To locate a practitioner experienced in "functional" medicine as described in Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D.'s The 20-Day Rejuvenation Diet Program, call 800-245 9076. A list of practitioners in your area will be sent to you by mail within 10 days. (Functional medicine is Bland's term for a holistic medical approach that focuses on bodily function, including detoxification.)
American Holistic Health Association
Presented by the American Holistic Health Association, the site below provides names of health care professionals by state. There is a wide variation in the level of credentials that the professionals present. The association states "you are responsible to verify that a practitioner's training, experience and level of expertise are appropriate for your specific needs." We agree. www.healthreferral.com.